Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Minni Trip - the route home (day 6)

Okay, so we're up a bit later than we liked (830ish) and we start readying to go home.  Well first we have to go to the cemetery.  So Mandy does some research, and get this: the hotel has a print service available.  How cool is that?  Talk about a hotel... you download whatever you want to print (webpage, pdf, etc...) and go to a website, tell it to print - give it a code number and then you go to the lobby, punch in this code number and the printer spits it out right then and there... neato!

Map image

So we find out approximately where the cemetery is, and the section we'd be looking for... after a brief nod to Mandy's boss in the lobby (what a coincidence) we head out.  We've exchanged all the bottles, and we have just enough to get us home.  After some GPS-ing we make it to the cemetery and we do some searching.  Eventually we find the gravesite for Raleigh and Kathleen Blake.  No stone for Jean, so Mandy has to go and inquire.  It turns out that apparently there never was a site for her.  We take some pictures so we know how to find it at another date and feed Dean then head out.  A gas fill up later and we're ready for the highway... unfortunately some nice man lets us know that we're driving without our gas cap screwed back on.  Mandy sees it as some sort of Urban Warfare warning (oh my ryan, you've angered a black man!!).  Mandy's hardly a racist, but it was funny.

cold stone creamery
cold stone creamery
We make it as far as Forest Park, where we stop for a Culvers brunch.  Dean is also not the happiest camper this leg of the trip.  It's a long road.  We stop at another place to feed/change Dean.  It's roughly about every 1-2 hours we have to stop.  We eventually make it to Duluth, and we meander on down to Canal Park to get our Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.  Man, it never ceases to amaze me how busy Canal Park is.  We park illegally for a while to feed Dean and then do some strolling around.  The ice cream was great... I hope Mandy enjoyed it... she had to get over Dean throwing up on her in public.  She got a "like it" sized banana ice cream with strawberries and pineapples.  I had the "love it" size signature "Cheesecake Fantasy" (eat your heart out dad).  It had cheesecake ice cream with graham crumbs, blueberries and strawberries.  I don't know what it is, but I've grown to LOVE blueberries lately.

We wander around a little bit more, and we get to a store I kinda like, but Dean throws up some more, and I figure it's time to move on out.  But we stick our idea of coming back there at some point and doing some real visiting.  This time we'll invite the grandparents to help babysit!

We dared stopping at Culvers again, but we just had ice cream, so we were ok.  We did have to stop a few more times for Dean before getting Canadian side.  He was not happy.. I guess he figured he was never going to get 'home' and his routine would be ruined forever.  By the time we hit the border, Mandy and I are both exhausted.  We get to the customs official and he can hear Dean crying, the looks on our faces and just lets us go on through (he did ask the questions, mind you).

A short half hour later, and we're home.  Not unpacked, not nearly yet... but we're home.  Took some cajoling to get Dean to bed... we have a lot of bottles to clean... but thankfully we're home.  YAY... I think the next family trip will either be:

a) shorter

b) not for a while

People we'd like to thank that helped make this trip possible (this is in no particular order):

My folks the granola was a good treat while driving (something had to keep me awake - mandy slept most of the way) - saved me having to buy Mike&Ikes (although I still did)
Mandy's folks the GPS worked out great!
Kathy & George the stay was amazing - you guys put on a great breakfast spread
aunt Kathy for arranging a great luncheon / family reunion (and Dean loved his toys - we got the most usage out of the CD)
aunt Cookie Dean loves the toys/outfits he bought with his spending money
aunt & uncle John lunch at the fisherman's picnic was a good way to start the trip
grandma Eileen lunch is always great at your place - I hope the concert was good for you (really brings the term 'playing for your supper' to life)
my brother Adam for the few spending dollars i used to buy my Mike&Ikes
Kelly & Adam to help keep Dean preoccupied - Kelly for having a good 'ride buddy' - Adam for having another male with me to deal with the Knauff females (heh)

If there's anybody I missed, I'm sorry... it's just really late.  I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

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